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My experience with Zola - The static site generator

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Around the time this article was written, this website was generated using Zola - a super-fast, modern static-site generator written in Rust!

Why is Zola used for this website?#

My requirements were:

  • Speed - I need the site to be generated as fast as possible
  • Frictionless setup - I just want something that is simple to download and install. I don’t want to deal with potentially complex prerequisites

Zola fits my requirements the best. It’s typically distributed as a executable binary file. The program is several MBs large which is awesome considering everything it does.

In November 2020, when I was deciding which static-site generator to use, the alternatives were mostly Node.js-based programs (and still are 😆).

So, while these generators provide so many useful, cool features, the issues are that:

  • They require Node.js on the machine that generates the site.
  • NPM package dependencies! I’ve seen the node_modules folder can grow over 100x the size of the Zola itself.
  • Slower to generate the site than Zola.

I also checked out Hugo and Jekyll but I didn’t like the templating syntax of Hugo and Jekyll requires you to set up Ruby as a prerequisite.


Here are tradeoffs based on the way I use Zola for this website:



  • Still maturing. There may be some features not available on here. You can help out here though:
  • Tooling around it isn’t as mature as other static-site generators.


For my needs, no other static-site generator comes close.